After years of loving and using Benefit They’re Real mascara, I’ve come to see the light in drugstore formulas. There is absolutely no reason to pay $20+ for a mascara when an under $10 mascara can work just as well, and sometimes even better. I’ve drank the Kool-Aid and I’m here to spoon feed it to you as well.

I first discovered Lash Paradise after falling into a hole of YouTube beauty vloggers (that I’m still at this moment falling down because I missed the boat years ago and am now catching up). It’s been strongly compared to Too Faced Better than Sex, which I hated, not only by look but by formula. So I refused to try it, until I had coupon that made it like $6. And then, I was somehow immediately in love.

This shit actually worked. I had Instagram lashes, man. It was insane. But here’s the rub, the tube dries out insanely fast. Like, two weeks fast. Lash Paradise was my summer fling. So, I moved on. But pretty quickly after, I fell in love hard once again, this time with a mascara that has lasted through the two week mark.

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NYX Worth It Mascara came into my life on a rainy night in April. There’s a NYX store right by our office and I ducked in before schlepping onto the subway. I picked up the $8 tube and haven’t looked back. The formula lengthens and volumizes in a way that opens up your eyes, even if you’ve only had 3 hours of sleep and are hungover. The next day, I went back and bough six more tubes (plus a bunch of Lid Lingerie shades).

I have a very open relationship with mascara. I will probably try the dang Glossier Lash Slick, and maybe I’ll try Lash Paradise again and beg it to take me back. So please, let me know what other mascara affairs I should be having.